Bye bye, baby


The end of maternity leave and return to work is a challenging time for most mums, who often have feelings of anxiety, guilt and fatigue. Some workplaces offer good support, others less so. Parenting expert Holly Zoccolan, founder of the Carol app* has some sound advice.

Speak with your manager about a phased return

Suggesting to your manager that you use some of your annual leave accrued during your maternity leave period can help to reduce feelings of being overwhelmed and burnt-out. Using some annual leave for the first few weeks can help phase your return to work.

Find your mum community.

Nobody else will quite understand what it’s like going back to work after maternity leave in the way that other mothers do. Try to link up with like -minded mums who live nearby and have children of the same age. Join and create groups where you can share tips and advice.The Carol App offers hundreds of expert-led resources across pregnancy and birth, baby sleep, feeding and development.

Be kind to yourself.

This is particularly important: you’ve gone through a huge life change and heading back to the office can be emotionally and physically draining. Whether it’s taking five minutes at lunchtime to yourself, going for a walk to take a break or listening to your favourite podcast on the way to work, try to grab some time for yourself every day.

Nourish yourself.

Eating nourishing food is energising and taking time to batch cook some healthy meals for the whole family means that choosing what to have for dinner is less of a chore. Some hearty family favourites from the Carol App Community include bolognese, coconut curry, soups and lasagne.

Rest up

Getting an early night is crucial, so the washing can wait! Try to avoid looking at a screen until late into the night. Getting into a healthy sleep pattern will help your energy, mental clarity and alertness - ­ all things you will need when you’re back in the office!

*The Carol App connects and supports mums throughout motherhood. It’s available free on the App Store.